Letters, drawings for Gilad help him, hospital children'

Writing letters to Gilad connects children to their surroundings, improves their mood, says Kaplan psychologist.

hand521 (photo credit: Isral Weiss)
(photo credit: Isral Weiss)
Although it’s unlikely that Gilad Schalit will have time to read them, letters written by hospitalized children and doctors at Kaplan Medical Center in Rehovot are thought by psychologists to help in their recovery.
“Writing letters to Gilad connects them with their normal surroundings outside, improves their mood and supplies interest and a target,” said Dr. Pini Cassuto, a Kaplan psychologist who was head of a unit for locating MIAs after the young soldier was kidnapped.
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Cassuto said Sunday that the letters from the children and medical staffers will be transferred to the Tel Nof Air Force base where Schalit will be reunited with his loved ones.
Cassuto, who was involved in investigating the kidnapping minutes after it occurred, said that the letters are a form of emotional release for the young patients.
They are also drawing pictures for Schalit, Cassuto added.
“If Gilad looks at them, they could give him emotional support and help him cope during the first days after his long incarceration in Gaza,” the psychologist said.
On Sunday, nurses passed through the pediatric department with paper for writing letters to Gilad and depositing them in specially printed boxes. All of the letters are very emotional and full of excitement, Cassuto said.
Sima Revivo, mother of a 10-year-old Ashdod boy named Noam who had his infected appendix removed, said that her son remembered in the recovery room after his surgery when the doctor who told him Schalit is being released.
“There is no doubt that writing letters to him eased the hospitalized children’s feelings. They are talking about him a lot. She is the child of all of us,” Sima said.
Kaplan Director-General Prof. Ya’acov Yahav said that in the past, the hospital initiated an assembly on the campus grounds in support for Schalit’s release.
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